Thursday, February 7, 2008

Protect Yourself!

A girl is gangraped by 6 teachers in Patan, and instead of providing support to the girl and her family, everyone is asking for action against teachers!

It is indeed sarcastic that in our male-dominated society, only male gets prominence even when they are the offenders. Sadly, nobody is talking about the girl. Everyone is interested in the action to be taken against those teachers.

National Commission for Women asks for women teachers in college, which is a girl’s college. How can employing female teachers in college solve anything? Does it make any sense? Will the offenders stop from committing such crimes in future? Are we saying that all men are bad?

Crime will continue to take place, if not college then some other place. Today, there are talks for recruiting female teachers. Tomorrow, we will preach that girls should not go out after so and so time, not wear some type of clothes, girls should not be bold and/or beautiful, and girls should not make boyfriends. How many things and how many people will we be able to restrict? We can’t control anything except ourselves.

To protect girls from such criminals, our society needs: liberal and supportive parents, and a broadminded society. We need to equip girls by training them self-defence. It is not possible to lock all the bad-doers behind bars, but it is possible to make our society cautious against various crimes.

Focus should be on supporting the victim not punishing the offenders. We should change our psyche and, first and foremost think for the victim. Don’t make girls weak, make them strong!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Why Uttarayan solely guilty for bird deaths?

Comes Uttarayan and talks about birds being killed during two-day festival start making rounds. It is high time we the defenders of Save Bird Campaign start looking within ourselves.

If we live in apartments and have a vehicle and electricity, then we have no right to point out that kite-flyers are killers. Because we all have created concrete jungle in our city where there are very few trees, when we daily pollute air by driving vehicle, when we use plastic bags and when we daily take something from environment instead of curbing any kind of environmental harm. There are so many more instances which will prove us all killers.

Ahmedabad have continuously seen decline of birds over years. Population of Sparrows, Parrots, Vultures, and Owl to name a few have declined alarmingly. To blame two-day kite festival for it is ridiculous.

Let’s talk about dumping our vehicles to save butterflies, squirrels, street dogs, cows, etc. Saving birds is important but blaming kite festival solely for their deaths is easy way out. If we want to save environment we have to go back and live in primitive age.

Train Tantrums!

Every year budget tries to bring changes in our economy, so as to make standard of living of people better. But how far budgets are successful from common man’s perspective is a debatable question! Isn’t privatization of high essence for Indian Railways?

Daily thousands of passengers traveling through Indian Railways have to suffer like anything, aren’t changes long overdue for making our railways better? Though day-by-day ticket fairs are rising, quality-wise things are deteriorating. What a common man used to get with same price a few years back in Sleeper coach now get in A/c coach, that too not up to the mark.

Daily, many passengers suffer even after paying extra fines such that they also have to satisfy the whims of Ticket Checkers. Though berths are available, so many people have to bear due to wrongdoings of TCs. Why can’t more trains be made available to cater to the needs of people, when daily passengers are stranded due to lack of reservations? Isn’t it wrong that even after paying fines i.e. more then their due share of ticket expenses and yet people don’t even get a place to sit? Isn’t it humiliating?

And Security is a big question in general and especially for women passengers traveling all alone. Security guards go in A/c coach but what about sleeper class? Why, people paying less have different security standards?

Lack of reservation, lack of space, beggars, mosquitoes, cockroaches, flies, dried water resources for long journeys, unhygienic washrooms and washbasins, lack of dustbins, sale of tobacco, trash quality of food, hammering of vendors and railway employees for food selling, people without reservation in reserved compartments, nuisance of people spitting from windows, etc are a few problems to hint.

If normal things are not provided hitherto forget about the dream of high-tech train where there are food lounge, library facility to kill time in long journeys, better ventilation to make the journey enjoyable and pleasurable, phone facility in time of emergency, variety of cuisine, internet, café, sign boards of destination routes to make it easy for a person traveling for the first time, etc. All this of course with a price to pay, because nothing is available free-of-charge! But wish charges are nominal and affordable and not like The Royal Orient and Palace on Wheels. And of course not to forget hygienic platforms to go with our high-tech trains just like Vijaywada platform or may be even better. Wish there can be exuberant charges for spitting, dumping waste and smoking, etc. Though it is a long shot, hope we can achieve the dream of high-tech hygiene train with perseverance and active contribution from the citizens of India and Indian Railways as a joint venture.

Skewed Notions

Culture has no connection with sexuality! We want to make issues out of non-issues probably as we don’t have anything better to do.

‘Piya tu ab to aaja’ song filmed on Helen and many more old-time songs are boldly sexual. ‘Sexy Sexy Sexy’ song filmed on Karishma was changed to ‘Baby Baby Baby’ on moral grounds, whereas, ‘Meri pant bhi Sexy’ didn’t face such problems. Does that indicate that women should be portrayed decently but not men? That means men don’t have dignity !

Amitabh don’t face problems with ‘Juma chuma de de’, Ashwariya don’t face problems with ‘Crazy kiya re’, Sexy of film ‘Cheeni Kum’ doesn’t face problems. And we don’t seem to have problems with bikini-clad beauty queens. Our barometer to judge obscenity is skewed.

Why sex is such a tabooed word? Why a female have to be depicted as daughter, wife or mother only? Why can’t a female be just a woman? Why can’t she be proud of her sensuality? If a good looking man with good physic is considered attractive why can’t a woman be considered plain sexy? And if we have problem with woman being sexy and attractive then those matrimonial adverts should not use words like good-looking, handsome, slim, beautiful, etcs.

To indulge in dialogue over art, culture, morality, female-sexuality, obscenity is important but more important issues are poverty, education, health, hygiene and global warming. Why don’t we concentrate on more important issues of the world?

Prevent Accidents

Accidents happen all over the globe. Indian road claims many lives daily. But we are least bothered about patrolling or speed limits. Though, helmets and sit belts are made compulsory, they are unable to bring down accidents. Strange?! Everyday TOI publish accident-related articles but no concrete steps are taken to curb accidents.

There should be strict adherence of traffic rules in city and on highways. Speed limits for both should be set. Highway police should patrol 24x7. State transport, tourist buses, private vehicles should be checked for their speed, vehicle condition, permissible load on vehicle, driver license, etcs. Mobile phone use while driving and drunken driving should be severely punished.

Research suggests that most accidents happen due to drunken driving, use of phone and dozing on wheels. Drunken driving and use of phone can be traced and punished. Special speed limit for night should be enforced to curb accidents at night. During night most drivers loose control due to less visibility and overtaking. More lights on highways or prohibiting driving during night hours can curb accidents.

Ensuring safety of travellers seems to be the primary need today.

High Raucous, Low Tolerance!

Why can’t people control verbal abuse on streets? Is it a kind of new mania? Or is it requisite that pedestrians and scooterists are always wrong but motorists always right? Can’t there be any law to protect citizens from this insult?

It seems that money have been the needle of justice these days. Higher the money higher is the status and higher the crime rate in that strata of society. Thanks to changing norms of our society, individuals are measured by wealth and power but not by merits and morals. The day, when effluents will have supremacies, is not far. Are we becoming slave of moneyed?

To educate tolerance and etiquettes to motorists just like a few sportspersons is becoming necessity. Can’t we be plinth of polite for a change?

Sadistic Serials!

TV Serials are meant for entertainment. Whereas, what we see nowadays is shear nonsense. Kya Haadasa Kya Haqeqat, Devi, Kkusum, and likes on Sony TV are disgusting. Similarly, Kunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Bhabhi, Kumkum, Kyo Hota Hai Pyaar, Kasauti Zindagi Ki, and likes on Star TV have become headache.

They not only portray women in bad shape but are also hyper-dramatic. Kya Haadasa Kya Haqeqat needs to be banned, which shows some ridiculous kind of Black Magic. How can such serials be telecast on TV channels at primetime that are watched by family?

Serials like Khichadi, Sharaarat, Yatra, Musafir Hoon Yaro, Chupa Rustam, CID are some examples of really entertaining ones. Even game shows like Bachh Ke Rahna, Bournvita Quiz Contest, Antakshari, etc are good. And the off-air ones like ‘Raah’ and ‘Kaun Banega Crore Pati’ were good too.

Let’s hope that the melodrama of small screen will stop soon because they are making common man react melodramatic in everyday life too!


The word ‘Peace’ – absence of war – originated in the ancient Rome. Though, PEACE, as a mere absence of war is termed as incomplete. Peace also means harmony, concord, calm, etc. The International Peace Day is on September 21.

The following are Peace Quotes described by some prominent individuals and some not so prominent but in general they do justice to want peace stands for :-

True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.
-----Martin Luther King

You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist.
-----Mrs. Indira Gandhi

Be the change you want to see in the world.
-----Mahatma Gandhi

If we cannot agree, let us at any rate agree to differ, but let us part as friends.
-----Mohammad Ali Jinnah

There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.
-----A.J. Muste

We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security.
-----Dwight D. Eisenhower

Aye, fight! But not your neighbour. Rather, fight all the things that cause you and your neighbour to fight.
-----Mikhail Naim

If you kill one person you are a murderer. If you kill ten people you are a monster. If you kill ten thousand you are a national hero.
-----Vassilis Epaminondou

Nuclear war is inevitable, says the pessimists; Nuclear war is impossible, says the optimists; Nuclear war is inevitable unless we make it impossible, says the realists.
-----Sydney J. Harris

While seeking revenge, dig two graves - one for yourself.
-----Doug Horton

We have guided missiles and misguided men.
-----Martin Luther King

Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.
-----John Wesley

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who are hungry and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
-----Dwight D. Eisenhower

People spend a lifetime searching for happiness; looking for peace. They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions, even other people, hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within.
-----Ramona L. Anderson

The love of one’s country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?
-----Pablo Casals

An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.
-----Mahatma Gandhi

The more we sweat in peace the less we bleed in war.
-----Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit

In India when we meet and part we often say, ‘Namaste’, which means: I honour the place in you where the entire universe resides; I honour the place in you of love, of light, of truth and of PEACE.
-----Ram Das

Like so many quotations and thoughts on peace by so many individuals, there are many topics on peace. Those topics can be as under:
Peace and Justice
Mahatma Gandhi has rightly described peace as ‘not only absence of violence, but also the presence of justice’. Non-cooperation is a measure of discipline and sacrifice, and it demands respect for the opposite views.
Environmental Peace
Some environmentalists believe that protecting the environment is a form of peacemaking. As per this perspective, to destroy natural habitats can be perceived as violence.
Inner peace
One meaning of peace refers to inner peace. Peace of mind, body and soul. In order to be peaceful one has to see within oneself. John Dear has rightly quoted that, ‘the life of ‘peace’ is both an inner journey toward a disarmed heart and a public journey towards a disarmed world. With peace as the beginning, middle, and end of life, life makes sense’.

Peace talk is ineffective even as countries world over keep ‘making and testing’ new Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). The main objectives of Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT) are:-
• to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons
• to promote peaceful uses of nuclear energy and
• to further achieve complete disarmament.

The NPT is open for signature since 1968 and 189 states have signed it. The treaty was proposed by Ireland and first signed by Finland. Five states recognized by the NPT as nuclear weapon states (NWS) and permanent members of the United Nations Security Council are France, the People’s Republic of China, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States. Similarly, Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) was opened for signature at New York on 24 September 1996 but is not yet in force.
The Secretary-General, Department for Disarmament Affairs (DDA), declared that terrorism is a threat to all States and to all peoples and that the United Nations must be at the forefront in fighting against it. The basic elements of United Nations counter-terrorism strategy also known as the five D’s are:
• to dissuade unaffected groups from choosing terrorism
• to deny terrorists the means to carry out their attacks
• to deter States from supporting terrorists
• to develop State capacity to prevent terrorism and
• to defend human rights in the struggle against terrorism.
It is sad to note that the casualties of war belong to the same species – human beings. Benjamin Franklin observed, ‘there never was a good war or bad peace’.

In spite of so many organizations and individual peace visionaries, we are not successful in achieving worldwide peace. Let us hope that a day will come when we won’t have to give away the Nobel Peace Prize, which is awarded annually to peacemakers who have overcome violence, conflict or oppression through peaceful means.

Bravo Bhansali !

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's efforts are commendable for his film BLACK. A fabulous movie, without doubt! Those who say, ‘Bhansali doesn’t know how to make film’, need re-thinking. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Devdas were good, but BLACK is unsurpassed. BLACK is not about darkness but about light and is full of colours of life. It is not a depressing movie but is full of hope.

Suicide, Corruption, Cheating, Cowardice ... forget about all these terms, a blind and deaf girl show you how to live with dignity and courage. BLACK teaches and leads us to HOPE.

Bhansali has created a movie, which is not worth Oscar winning because BLACK itself is his Oscar. He has best shown, sensitivity and imagination, through his movie. Direction, acting, story, message, silence, music, passion, feelings, positivism are very well depicted in BLACK. Emotions, which words fail to express, are portrayed accurately and precisely by Bhansali. Without doubt Bhansali with his movie BLACK is the Best Director of our era!

Yes Hubby Dear!

The Perfect Bride comes at the Perfect Time. Where will wannabe brides land up? It is true most men want their would-be wife to be ‘homely’ but this is not the only perspective. There are men who want their wife to earn and be the pillars for the household expenses. Won’t it be wrong to demand from girls just the opposite of what they desire?

It is rightly said, ‘It takes all kinds (of men) to make these world.’ If today’s men want their wife to be docile they are on a hopeless quest. The girls who want to be house-wife get to meet those guys who want them to earn to make the ends meet, whereas, the girls who are career-oriented find guys who want them to be house-wives.

It’s great that today’s girls pursue their career with determination. And yet, in all, we find only 10-20% even lesser women on top positions. Rest all women windup working as customer care executives or in front-desk job. Is this what we consider as career? Due to more and more women working, men get lesser and lesser job opportunities, leaving all responsibilities on their fairer counterpart’s shoulder. Doesn’t this leave men lazy as never before and wanting everything readymade? Isn’t it wrong to expect everything out of women?

Does men really help wife in household work? Where does this leave women? Working indoor as well as outdoor… then what is the need to marry? Men if doesn’t earn enough want their wife to earn and if wife earn more than their ego is hurt terribly. Ouch, touchy! Why not let women decide, for once, what they want? Or is it too much to ask for space and decision-making of ones own life?

Aren’t we the confused generation between East and West culture? What do men and women of today actually want? And how come it is always men who have demands to make and women to comply?

Child Labour of Higher Society!

Child labour is the most lamented subject. Child labour is present not only in the lower strata of the society but also in the upper strata. Surprised? Well it is a fact.

Labour means work done beyond one’s capacity. Educated people talk about the poor who send their children to work to augment family income. But what about the labour that educated people inflicts upon their own children in their own home?

In well-to-do-families parents force their kids to learn swimming, music, dancing, computer and many more. Is this not labour? A child is overburdened with so much to do that it has little time to play. Although here the labour is not to earn but for their parents so-called status symbol or ego satisfaction. According to most parents, it for the benefit of their children. But why not let the child decide what he/she wants to do?

In order to meet parents’ expectations, frustrated kids are under strain leading to depression and suicides. Suicides are at peak during Board exams. Parents expect their kids to perform beyond their capacity-level, why? Everyone is not born to be a celebrity.

Nobody is perfect and master of every skill. A Mere top-rank in education doesn’t help today. Increased competition has leaded us to set ourselves different from the common education, which we all have.

So why not for once parents leave kids alone and let them decide what they want in life? Parents perhaps need some counselling if not education.

Fight for Daughters’ Freedom!

Being mother of two girls, I feel it is time we accept girl and boy as equal, in all outlook, rather than being hypocrites. When we want our daughters to be as competent as sons, why should we behave biased, when it comes to allowing them to go out with male-friends?

I allow my girls to go out-of-town with their guy friends. And I fail to understand what is wrong with it? If we want our children to share everything with us as a friend without any fear than being a parent we too have to put trust in them. We fail to go with the trend, understanding the psyche of younger generation and then blame it on society. When we know that today’s generation is going too fast and beyond our thinking, what is wrong to accept changes, which are, for good and much needed?

If we say, holidaying with opposite sex is not acceptable before marriage in Indian culture then there are many things, which are not acceptable in Indian culture that happens in our society, which we ignore entirely. ‘Abortion cases are on rise during Navratri’; do we have any answer to this question? Most of the questions, faced by today’s guardians, are not linked with being liberal parent or not, but are associated with the values we built in our children. Are we any different then Muslim culture of some countries, where female is not allowed to go out without being accompanied by male member of the house?

‘What if she gets in trouble when she goes out with male friend?’ is such a hypocritical question, why we fail to ask ‘What if she meets with and accident while driving a vehicle?’ isn’t it funny... Do we ever think ‘What if children become victim of molestation when they go to school or for their hobby pursuits?’ Fearing something, which is entirely baseless, we make our own double standards in name of society and instigate daughters, to feel deprived of making their own decisions. It is high time we give our daughters, freedom and space to grow and let them make their own choices and stand by our daughters.

Sanctity of Marriage!

Are we heading towards primitive age? The article, “The new vow: Till divorce do us part” by Radha Rajadhyaksha (Monday, January 20) was very good and printed at the right time. But besides women being more conscious of their rights there are many other factors associated with increasing amount of divorce.

Higher education and working women, young age affairs and Adultery, Internet and western influence are a few reasons for marriage failures. It is interesting to note that word ‘compromise’ is lost in marriage. Divorce cases are filed for a dispute on furniture design, for a dispute on colour of sari, etc. These are very silly reason for filing a divorce, what are we heading towards?

The pace of life among youngsters has become very fast. To survive in caustic competition has left little dignity among all of us. Earlier we used to respect values, tradition and culture but today we use them for our own benefit.

TV and Internet have influenced all aspects of our society. No medium is bad in itself it is the way we use it makes it bad. Porno-site needs to be banned. Youngsters are exposed to these things at a very fragile age, leading to no respect for the so-called institution named marriage.

A marriage is based on understanding, trust, compromise and lastly love. Love alone is nothing. If other three words are removed marriage won’t last. And it seems that trust and compromise and even patience are lost among both the genders leading to – Divorces!

In some way it is justified to write - I was born brilliant, education ruined me! It is a pity, if we get good education than we should be more sophisticated but instead we have become more barbaric.

Eye Cancer – A Fatal Disease!

The eye collects light and turns it into electronic messages that are sent to the brain. The brain then turns those signals into a picture. As we have two eyes, two pictures are created. Hence if vision of one eye is lost, still other eye continue to do almost everything as before.

The eye has three main parts: the eyeball, the orbit, and the adnexal structures.


The eyeball is filled with a jelly-like substance called vitreous. The uvea and the retina are two important parts of the eyeball.

The uvea is made up of the iris, the choroid and ciliary body.

 The iris, the colored part surrounding the pupil, controls the amount of light that enters the eyeball.
 The choroids, a thin-pigmented layer inside the eyeball, take care of the retina and the front of the eye with blood.
 The ciliary body have muscles inside the eye that change the shape of the lens for eye to focus on near or distant objects and cells that produce liquid in the eye.

The retina is like the film in a camera. It is in the back of the eyeball and contains cells that are sensitive to light. Cancers affecting the eyeball are called intraocular (within the eye) cancers.

Intraocular cancers are of two types: 1) Primary Intraocular Cancers and 2) Secondary Intraocular Cancers.

1) Primary Intraocular Cancers

Primary Intraocular Cancers are cancers that start inside the eyeball. Melanoma is the most common primary intraocular cancer in adults, followed by primary intraocular lymphoma. In children, retinoblastoma (a cancer arising from cells in the retina) is the most common primary intraocular cancer, and medulloepithelioma is the next most common.

Intraocular Melanoma of iris

If melanoma starts in the iris, it may look like a dark spot on the iris. They arise on the pigmented spot that has been present for many years and then begins to grow. These melanomas are comparatively slow growing, and they rarely spread to other parts of the body. Due to these reasons, people with iris melanomas generally have a good chance of surviving.

Intraocular Melanoma of ciliary body or choroid

If melanoma is in the ciliary body or the choroid, a person may have blurry vision or may have no symptoms, and the cancer may grow fast, even before it is noticed. Approximately 90% of intraocular melanomas occur in the choroids and remaining 10% mostly occurs in the iris. Choroids contain pigment cells called melanocytes. These cells and their product "melanin" absorbs any extra light which might distort the retinal picture. Melanocytes are the cells, which can lose control, and grow into a malignant melanoma. This type of melanoma is usually found during a routine eye examination, when a doctor looks inside the eye with special instruments. The chance of recovery depends on the size and cell type of the cancer; which part of the eye has cancer; and whether the cancer has spread.

Intraocular melanomas are further divided into two types, based on the shape of the cancer cell, they are: 1) Spindle Cell Melanomas and 2) Nonspindle Cell melanomas. Spindle cell melanomas are formed by elongated (stretched out) cells. Nonspindle cell melanomas are formed by epithelioid (round or oval) cells or by a mixture of spindle and epithelioid cells. Nonspindle cell tumors are more difficult to treat successfully as these tumors are more likely to spread to distant sites and be fatal.

Primary Intraocular Lymphoma (Lymphoma of the Eye)

Lymphoma is a type of cancer that generally starts in lymph nodes, which are bean-sized collections of immune system cells. Lymphomas can also start in internal organs such as the stomach, lungs, and rarely in the eyes. There are 2 main categories of lymphoma, they are: Hodgkin disease and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Primary intraocular lymphoma is always a non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Most people with primary intraocular lymphoma are elderly or have immune system problems such as AIDS.


Retinoblastoma is a relatively uncommon tumor among children that arises in the retina. Although retinoblastoma may occur at any age, in most cases it is diagnosed before the age of 5 years.

Retinoblastoma was one of the first cancers, which is recognized as "hereditary". It can occur in one eye (unilateral) or in both eyes (bilateral). Retinoblastoma is a tumor that occurs in germline and sporadic forms. Germline disease includes those patients with positive family history (i.e. hereditary disease). Most unilateral disease is sporadic or nongermline, whereas all children with bilateral disease have the germline form. Germline tumors tend to occur at a younger age than sporadic tumors.

The treatment of retinoblastoma, depend on the spread, or stage, of the tumor. Retinoblastoma is usually confined to the eye, and thus, more than 90% of children can be cured. Retinoblastoma can be treated by surgery (enucleation), chemotherapy, cryotherapy, light coagulation, and radiation.


Medulloepithelioma is a very rare tumor that usually occurs in young children. Most medulloepitheliomas are malignant, though they rarely spread. They usually cause eye pain and decreased vision. A biopsy, a procedure in which cells from the tumor are removed and examined under a microscope, is performed to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment is with surgery. The doctor normally tries to remove only the tumor. If that is impossible, then the eye removal is the only option.

2) Secondary Intraocular Cancers

Secondary Intraocular Cancers are cancers that spread to the eye from another part of the body. The most common cancers spreading to the eye are breast and lung cancers. This occurs when cancer become widespread. Usually these cancers spread to the part of the eyeball called the uvea.


The second major part of the eye, the orbit, consists of the tissues surrounding the eyeball. These tissues include muscles that make the eyeball move in different directions and the nerves attached to the eye. Cancers of these tissues are called orbital cancers.


The eyelids and tear glands are adnexal (or accessory) structures. Cancers that develop in these tissues are called adnexal cancers.

Orbit cancer and adnexal cancer develop from tissues such as muscle, nerve, and skin. American Cancer Society consider these cancers as cancer of muscle, nerve, skin, etc. Thus, cancer of eyelid is considered as a skin cancer like other skin cancers.

Totally Ban Tobacco!

Indeed, TOI’s efforts of allotting the entire page and so many informative articles on Tobacco are commendable. Apt adverts along with articles will definitely hit at the heart… oops, fingers and lips – of tobacco addicts.

It is important to note that smoking kills not just smoker but non-smoker as well. If such campaign continues hope someday government will ban tobacco and tobacco manufacturing companies.

The ‘hookas’ should not be excluded from the campaign as they are suffocating, too. Let’s give up partial ban on tobacco at certain places or for certain age group but ban it completely.

Hope such important issues will be given more space in TOI. Let’s give others some fresh air to breath at least.

Ban it or burn it but do it!

Some steps need to be taken regarding all kinds of tobacco. Tobacco ban for minor is not enough; age limit should be increased to 25 years.

It is sad to learn that most kids turn to tobacco at very vulnerable age. Although, when they start chewing tobacco or smoking cigarettes it is just out of fun, but later on it leads to serious problems. Various cancers are deadly but such habits also lead to depression and frequent mood swings, which are equally bad.

Though there is a tobacco ban in foreign countries people find their way to get it. Relatives of Indians’ residing on foreign land, take bags full of tobacco along with themselves. As it is not permitted to carry tobacco across the airport authority, they sell it off to stores present at airport, at huge profit. At a moment’s phone call, tobacco-crazies come to this stores and the whole stock is sold within a few minutes. What a profitable business, indeed!

Those who are doing this kind of business don’t even feel any burden on their conscience? It is sad that for our own benefit we are selling low poison to others. Could we be able to stand it, if our own relative or family-member becomes sick due to it?

Two kids of seven years of age were smoking cigarettes on 15th August to celebrate their independence. Is this what we want our youngsters to lead to? If no, than active action is required from parents, who themselves are addicted to such kind of habits. Let’s make the world a better place to live!

Let’s Combat Tobacco!

Tobacco consumption is rising in India by leaps and bounds. Although, there is a nation-wide ban on advertising any kind of tobacco, Wills hoarding at Natraj crossing stands tall.

Illiterate and literate turn to tobacco - blindly. Men are already addicted to tobacco, now tobacco-giants are targeting women!

Children are not only vulnerable to tobacco addiction. But second hand smoke is deadly enough for them. An estimated four million children under 15 are believed to be regular tobacco users. Children of smokers have acute lower respiratory infections, decreased lung functions, increase eczema and asthma, etc to name a few diseases.

For about a decade Filmfare Awards has been sponsored by - Manikchand - one of the top-selling brands of Gutka but nobody seems to oppose.

According to WHO, India, is heading towards a tobacco epidemic. Nearly, 50 per cent of Indian males over the age of 15 are smokers. And 8 lakh lives are claimed every year due to tobacco!

World No-Tobacco Day was observed on May 31 with an appropriate placard “PAAN masala, cigarette, beedi, aa to che maut ni seedi''.

Let’s become mature citizens and stop manufacturing, propagating, and consuming tobacco.

Get Up Stand Up, Stand Up for your rights; Get Up Stand Up, Don’t give up the fight.

During the admission of a child, a school demands donation. The more the money the better the school. Why should parents pay any money at all for the admission? Why don’t they demand explanations from authorities? What is our government doing to stop this wrongdoings? Is there any law who can stop this?

Who is opposing, the mass cheating taking place in the examinations? And if some person is opposing, he/she is laughed upon. Shouldn’t we fight for our rights?

National Television Institute of India is facing a problem of declining students year after year due to higher fees and shabby condition of the institute. Ms. Sushma Swaraj visited the institute and said that they will look into the matter and try to solve the problem after a debate. When will the problem be solved? After there is no single student left in the institute, to shutdown the institute permanently.

Circus troop abandoned animals after governments seized their rights to operate, of which two animals died and others are in bad conditions. Now the matter has gone to high court and these poor animals are waiting for a decision, which will alter their fate. We can expect that the decision will arrive at least before the death of other animals.

Cooperative bank scam is at peak right now. Interest rates are reducing day by day because our government is following US strategies without thinking what is beneficial for our economy. So is our government planning to provide unemployment allowance like the US government? Many families are allegedly committing suicide. And who is responsible?

We are responsible. We should stand up and do our best to change the situation instead of complying with it.

Civilization in Disguise?

Is the world we live in civilized? We call ourselves civilized and sophisticated but in reality we still are far from civilization.

All around us daily we find people who behave in an ignorant manner, than what is the use of the education, which we attain, as it is futile.

We find people throwing waste paper and plastics on the roads, do we behave in the same manner at our homes, if yes, than only we have a right to do so on roads.

And there are some people who spit and snivel on roads. Shouldn’t we all be slightly more responsible citizens and try to stop them?

Government has taken active step for traffic rules and regulations recently by charging fine from those violating rules. And it has been quite successful in channelling traffic and trailing down number of accidents. Government should also indulge into taking active step, against such people also, who throw garbage on roads.

The worst thing one can mark is our culturally civilized people are also not so civilized. Affluent businessmen and seniors do throw garbage and spit on roads. It’s the worst of all habits they have formed, which will lead to irresponsible youngster and careless future generation.

If our senior citizens and so-called culturally civilized-people of the society behave in such manner than what can we expect from lower sections of our society. On one hand we teach the lower sections of our society to keep their homes and utensils clean and on other hand we spoil playgrounds, parks with our unhygienic habits.

Our society runs plenty many programs for bringing different kind of awareness among all the sections of society. These public welfare institutions should draw their attention to upbringing the standard of thinking of people, to maintain hygiene at public places.

Like hygienic public bathrooms, Government should also bring fine system when they see people spitting or throwing garbage on roads. Government should put frequent dustbins around various corners. And people should be fined if seen spitting or throwing garbage on roads.

‘No Spitting’ boards should be kept at all corners in all languages with signs on them to make people aware. The following banner helps to draw people’s attention:

‘Cleanliness is a pleasure, which one should always treasure.’

Begins hazy but ends well

Colourful Kites... Sharp Strings... Delicious Food... Loud Music...
Funny Caps... Plenty Balloons... Fancy Goggles...
Empty Roads... Brimming Terraces...

In place of vibrant colourful sky, Kite Flying begins with foggy sky this year. Too much of fog at around 9.30 a.m. was the reason of discontent among keen Kite-flyers. And as the fog disappears it took away wind too with it.

Never the less early morning to late night there are only kites all over. Kite Flying is a festival, which consumes all kind of flavour in it. It begins early in the morning and is celebrated till late night. People not only fly kites but also enjoy delicious food, loud music. And late at night now there is a new trend of Dance Party on rooftops.

Undhiyu, jalebi, tilsaakdi, chikki, sev khamni, etc and various fruits like guava, sugarcane, fresh Valyari and bour, etc are very famous eatables of this festival.

All terraces are either full of loud music or shouts like ‘Kaipo Che’ and ‘Lapet’. People of Ahmedabad are festive freak and so, it is likely that whether there is wind or not they enjoy Kite Flying festival to the fullest. And as the evening grew darker ‘tukkal’ and parachute and also crackers were among the hot favourites.

Though inclusive of all such fun, there are people, who don’t enjoy this festival at all. According to Amit, ‘it is boring and just one more holiday, so instead he plan to see a good movie and take pleasure of his holiday in his own style.’

Well his friends, Kirit and Vishal do not share this opinion. According to them, ‘on kite flying whole day is confined to terrace.’